Grades and Academic Records

Students shall be evaluated by their instructors solely on the basis of their academic performance, not on their opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.


The College employs an A, B, C, D, F grading system. Faculty may append a plus or minus to all grades A through D, with the exception that there is no grade of A+. The grade of A is awarded for work of outstanding quality. The grade of B indicates good work, C satisfactory work, D marginal work, and F failure. A department may require a minimum grade in courses prerequisite to more advanced work.

Pass-NoPass Option

Students may choose the option of receiving a notation of P (Pass) to indicate a grade of D– or better in any course they take. Under this option, grades of F and W are recorded on the transcript as NP, which indicates that the student did not pass or earn credit for the course. NP grades are not factored into a student’s grade point average (GPA).  Application for this option, or for changing back to regular letter grades, must be made before the last day of the 11th week of classes in a 15-week course or the deadline for withdrawing from classes with an automatic W for other types of courses. Approval of the student’s advisor is required. No more than four credits with grades of P or NP based on this policy may appear on a student’s transcript at any one time.  This excludes credit-bearing activities that are by default graded on a Pass-NoPass basis, such as internships and some practica. Students may choose to change a grade of P or NP on their transcript back to a regular letter grade at any time before the final degree audit for graduation by submitting the appropriate form; under no circumstances may letter grades be subsequently changed to P or NP grades. 

Grade Point Averages

The grade point average (GPA) attained for each semester of a student’s work, as well as the student’s cumulative grade point average, is recorded on the student’s official academic record at the end of each semester. It is weighted according to course credit. Grade point averages are computed on the following basis:

A ……… 4.00
A–…….. 3.67
B+ ……. 3.33
B ……… 3.00
B– ……. 2.67
C+……. 2.33
C ……… 2.00
C– ……. 1.67
D– ……..0.67
F ……….0.00


Grades of P, I, X, MW, W, and RS will not be included. The Lake Forest GPA includes grades earned in Lake Forest College courses and for all Lake Forest off-campus programs led by Lake Forest faculty.


Instructors are authorized to give incomplete grades and may record a grade of I (Incomplete) for a student who is prevented by illness or other reason beyond the control of the student from completing the requirements of a course. The student must complete the appropriate assignments and deliver them to the instructor no later than two weeks after the close of the residence halls for both the fall and spring semesters, respectively. Instructors are required to submit the revised grade to the Registrar within three business days after the expiration of the incomplete. Extensions of the deadlines are possible only with special permission from the Associate Dean of Faculty for Student Success. If the Registrar does not receive a revised grade by the appropriate deadline, a grade of F will be recorded in place of the I. This policy applies only to undergraduate work.

Grades of X

A grade of X may be assigned at the initiative of an instructor when a student who has been doing at least passing work in a course unexpectedly fails a final assignment. With the instructor’s authorization, the student has the same amount of time to redo the assignment, or its equivalent, as is available for an incomplete, but in no case may the final revised grade be higher than a D+.

Grades of PR

A grade of PR (Progress) is used at the end of the first term of a two-term senior thesis or other independent study project if the student is making satisfactory progress. A final letter grade for both semesters will be entered when the project is completed at the end of the next term. Satisfactory progress is defined as a minimum of a C– grade for the work thus far completed. Accordingly, if a student receives a final grade of D or F in the thesis or other project, the PR grade as replaced cannot be lower than a C–. This policy applies only to undergraduate work.

Grades of RS

The RS grade, introduced in the fall of 1997, indicates that the requirements have been satisfied in a course without credit.

Student Teaching Credit (SCR)

The student teaching clinical experience is graded on a basis of SCR (Student Teaching Credit) to indicate a grade of B– or better needed for passing the student teaching course. Under this system, grades of F and W are recorded on the transcript as usual. This grade is only available to students accepted into the teacher certification program and enrolled in elementary or secondary student teaching.

Repeated Courses

Any course taken at Lake Forest College, except a First-Year Studies course, in which a student received a grade of C– or lower may be repeated once with replacement of the earlier grade, as long as the repeated course has the same course number as the course whose grade it replaces, and is not repeatable for credit under its catalog description (as are certain topics courses, etc.). This replacement is for the purposes of calculating GPA only: all grades received appear on the Lake Forest College transcript. A student may only take one First-Year Studies course during her or his time at Lake Forest College. 

A course may be repeated with replacement of the earlier grade only once. After that, the grades in any further repetition of the course will stand and be counted into the student’s GPA along with the grade for the second time he or she took the course.

Over the course of his or her Lake Forest College career, a student may repeat no more than two courses for replacement of a grade. Should a student repeat more than two courses over her or his time at the College, the grades earned for the first two of these repeated courses will replace the grades of the previously taken courses of the same number; the grades for any courses beyond that will be included in the student’s GPA like any other course.

Auditing Courses

Students who wish to acquaint themselves with a subject without receiving credit may audit a course with the permission of the instructor. Auditors are not subject to the requirements of the course, but they are expected to participate seriously. There is no audit fee for full-time students; part-time students are charged a minimum amount per course. Examination for course credit is not permitted in an audited course.

Semester Grades and Academic Early Alerts

Final grades are posted on My.Lakeforest. Academic Early Alerts for all students, in courses where the student’s performance is at that point a cause for concern, will be submitted on My.Lakeforest by the first day of the fifth week of both Fall and Spring semesters. After this deadline, students and their advisors will get emails prompting them to check the Academic Early Alert Information box on their My.Lakeforest pages.

Students who receive more than one AEA will be required to meet with an academic support specialist to work through a plan to address all related academic problems.